Faculty of Sharia at Damascus University...An Academic, Cognitive and Societal Role

Since its establishment, the Faculty of Sharia has contributed to the qualification of cadres of researchers and specialists in various fields of Sharia sciences. The Faculty of Sharia at Damascus University is considered one of the first modern faculties at the university. Since its establishment in 1954, the Faculty has witnessed great developments through an increase in the number of its scientific departments after it was previously limited to teaching Islamic Sharia compared to law.

 

The Dean of the Faculty of Sharia, Dr. Muhammad Hassan Awad, confirmed that the Faculty’s basic mission is to highlight the image of Islam as revealed by God the Almighty, to spread religious awareness in society, and to advance it. It seeks to prepare a distinguished elite of researchers and specialists in various fields of Sharia sciences, imams, preachers, and teachers, and to qualify them at a high level of knowledge, scientific methodology, and skills in their field of specialization and education , and to assign them to institutions that need specialists in the Sharia sciences, such as the judiciary, economic institutions, and others, as well as highlighting the values that advanced Islamic civilization, and enhancing the spirit of sincerity in word and deed.

 

Dr. Awad adds: The Faculty is primarily concerned with preparing a student and researcher far from fanaticism, extremism, isolationism, and introversion, by devoting a policy of acceptance of others, openness to them, and dialogue with them, adopting the opinions of others that do not contradict the Faculty’s approach, respecting constants, community participation, integration with reality, and consolidating the student’s affiliation to his religion. his country and his nation, adhering to the teachings of Islam and its purposes, and preserving values and morals, noting that the Faculty of Sharia is a member of many committees in the government, such as the Syrian Commission for Family Affairs and Women’s Rights, and all social and environmental activities that are in contact with society through its students and professors.

 

 A Cognitive and Ethical Aspect

The Faculty of Sharia derives its importance from its cognitive role and its contribution to social development within the university campus through lectures and student meetings. It also teaches and disseminates correct religious awareness on sound foundations through its departments and academic specializations. The Faculty currently includes a number of specialized departments. These departments constitute the basic nucleus of postgraduate studies, as the Faculty awards master’s and doctoral degrees.

 The Faculty also attaches importance to the legislative aspect, such as comparative Sharia jurisprudence and personal status, as well as the commercial aspect, which depends on commercial arbitration between individuals and companies, and also the cognitive aspect through examining ancient manuscripts and bringing them to light. There is a percentage of manuscripts that have become master’s theses in all departments.

 

Academic Standards

The National Academic Reference Standards for the Sharia Sciences Sector are summarized in knowledge and understanding, enabling the graduate to acquire knowledge, and to be able to know and understand the provisions of  Tajweed of the Holy Qur’an and the grammar and rhetoric of the Arabic language, the noble biography of the Prophet, and the texts of Islamic Sharia sciences, such as doctrine, morals, Sufism, interpretation, hadith, jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence and economics, the objectives of Islamic Sharia, and all other Sharia sciences.

 Dr. Awad pointed out that the Faculty is keen to introduce the student to the sources and figures of Islamic Sharia sciences, the history of Islam and its present, the Islamic values that contributed to building human civilization, and the principles of writing scientific research and editing manuscripts in the Islamic Sharia sciences.

 

New Study Plan

Dr. Awad stated that the Faculty’s previous study plan was reviewed and amendments were made in 2022. Amendments were also made to most of the courses in all specializations, taking into account keeping up with developments and changes in society and being aware of everything that enriches the student after graduation and provides him with the tools to distinguish between good thought and evil thought and his ability to deal with it and with others in a wise manner.

The Faculty also continuously seeks to develop research methods and curricula, teaching principles and methods in the field of Islamic sciences, and to take care of sources, references and Islamic manuscripts for study, investigation and publication, as well as participating in conducting scientific research and various studies that lead to finding solutions to the various issues facing society.

 

Cooperation with the Ministry of Endowments

Dr. Awad pointed to the role of the Ministry of Endowments, which attaches great importance to graduates of the Faculty of Sharia, and in this context it allows them to enroll in a training course lasting approximately ten days at the Ministry’s Al-Sham International Center through forty lectures by distinguished scholars and specialists in order to expand the knowledge of the graduates and raise their intellectual level by establishing the truth, correcting ideas, enhancing communication with others, and enriching various fields of poetry, oratory, imamate, reading and memorizing the Qur’an.

 

Various Activities

Dr. Awad explained that the Faculty is keen to participate in all activities in cooperation with other parties in the field of its specializations, and there are projects being prepared in cooperation with the university’s Faculties in some topics such as Islamic architecture, religious tourism, commercial arbitration, Islamic banking, Islamic accounting, and Quranic calligraphy.

In this context, the Faculty recently organized a number of activities and events, including scientific and legal workshops on family reform for the first time in this field, as well as an exhibition of the Holy Qur’an regarding scientific miracles, a symposium with Islamic banks and the Central Bank, as well as workshops on family arbitration, to preserve the continuity of the family and care for children, courses in commercial arbitration and its importance in financial transactions and financial disputes, courses in foreign languages and the Arabic as well. 



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